View Full Version : Car/Truck Question

04-16-2008, 05:11 PM
I was wondering how long or short you gents keep your vehicles. The reason for my question is that my truck is getting close to paid off and the mileage is getting higher, but I have been thinking lately of keeping it after it is paid off and continuing driving it everyday. My thinking is that it is cheaper to fix a paid off vehicle than it is to purchase a new one with monthly payments. What is ya'lls experience with keeping paid off vehicles instead of purchasing new ones?

04-16-2008, 05:29 PM
It sure is nice not having to make all those monthly payments!

I plan to keep my truck until it is falling apart to the extent that the repairs are too expensive to justify its further existence.

04-16-2008, 05:32 PM
In short, it makes economic sense to keep a vehicle that is paid off, assuming it hasn't turned the corner where things are starting to break down en masse.

All of my cars have been pre-owned (read used LOL) except for my current ride, a 2000 VW Golf TDI with 118K miles. I have occasional repairs but it still pays to keep it. It's followed me from CT to OH to CA (last leg it was shipped, not driven) and I don't regret keeping it at all.

But once you get to that "what's that strange noise/smell?" phase where you're nervous yet something else is about to break down, there's nothing like the piece of mind you get from a brand-spanking new car. Assuming it's not a lemon.

04-16-2008, 05:33 PM
It sure is nice not having to make all those monthly payments!

I plan to keep my truck until it is falling apart to the extent that the repairs are too expensive to justify its further existence.

+1 No car payments = sweeeeeeeeeeeeet! :biggrin:

04-16-2008, 05:35 PM
No vehicle payments are nice, I'll drive my truck till the doors fall off my wife on the other hand won't have it.

04-16-2008, 06:07 PM
Keep it as long as possible. I like to hang on to my vehicles until they leave me stranded and cost too much to fix. The best plan is to take the money you are currently paying in monthly payments and "save" it (savings account, investment account, etc.). When you need to buy a new vehicle you should be able to pay for it in cash!

Aaron S.
04-16-2008, 06:23 PM
I keep my cars until they break to the point that fixing them isn't worth it, or I crash them. Most of them are crashed through my experience.

04-17-2008, 06:30 AM
drive it until the wheels fall off.i have only bought 1 vehicle new.and it was sub-par quality,had several problems from the factory.never performed up to expectations.everything else i have bought used ,and have been good performers.just take your time looking when replacement time gets near.

04-17-2008, 06:35 AM
Five words: run it into the ground.

Until your current vehicle's maintenance bill costs more than the payments on a new(ish) one keep driving it.

04-17-2008, 07:23 AM
I used to trade vehicles quiite alot,not with car lots, only bought 2 new vehicles. I'm 45 and in the 27 years I've been driving I've had:
55 Chevy Pickup; 72 Dodge Demon, 69 Buick Skylark, 75 Lincoln Town Coupe, 71 Ford Ranger, 78 Ford Courier, 75 Ford Mustang II, 88 Suzuki Samurai, 89 Dodge Dakota, 88 Chevy pickup, and a 88 Buick Park Ave. I've still got the last two, and I'm planning on keeping the truck as long as I hang around.

My advice: Unless you're trading staigt across for something better, keep it as long as possible.

04-17-2008, 07:48 AM
drive them till they drop:biggrin:

04-17-2008, 07:57 AM
My understanding is that the best way to minimize car ownership costs are to buy a new or nearly new vehicle until the maintenance costs no longer make sense given the value/potential remaining life span of the vehicle.

I remember a show that laid out the best way to own a car for as little money as possible was as follows:

1) Buy (don't lease) a new/nearly new car - look for a car with a good track record and low maintenance/operating costs.

2) Time your vehicle purchase - December/January is often a good time to buy cars in northern states, but keep an eye out for good dealer incentives, non-current models, unpopular colours, etc.

3) Consider buying an extended warranty based on the number of miles you drive per year.

4) Perform routine maintenance religiously (including oil changes, regular cleaning, tire pressure, etc...)

4) As the car gets older, monitor your annual maintenance costs to see how they're trending in comparision to the current value of the car.

5) Sell the car before it becomes unreliable (this is often tricky to time!).

6) While you own the car, put a reasonable amount of money aside each year for the purchase of a new vehicle - put it into a secure form of investment that pays some interest - so you can pay cash for the next vehicle.

There are several variants to this theme, but the basics are sound.

If you're an urban dweller or don't do much driving, consider buying an off-lease car with higher than average milage. I do very little driving and got a very good deal on a 3 year old car that had 100,000 km on it (much higher than average milage) that was just off lease. The car had complete maintenance records, had been very well maintained and the vast bulk of the milage was highway driving.

Since I do so little driving, the high milage isn't an issue and I got a nearly new car for about 1/2 price of a new one. Also, when I go to sell it, it will have low milage relative to its age, allowing me to recoup a good percentage of my initial purchase cost.

04-17-2008, 08:08 AM
Suzuki, I have to say that was an impressive post.

Further, have you considered a career in marketing?

04-17-2008, 09:14 AM
I don't worry much about the "current value" of the car. All I care about is how valuable it is TO ME to have a reliable vehicle. I'll think nothing of a major repair, if it means I'm going to get another couple years of reliable life out of the car. When stuff starts breaking left and right and threatens to leave me stranded, or the body is rusted enough that stuff is falling off, it's time to replace.

Don't buy new, if you want to save money in the long run. Look at almost new used cars, with fairly low milage (though milage isn't really that important; HOW the car was driven and how well it was maintained are far more important than the number of miles driven), preferably still under warranty, and with all of the maintenance records. If the former owner can prove that they changed the oil on time and were meticulous about taking care of the vehicle, it will show in future reliability. Oh, and take care of it yourself. A new timing belt at 60k miles is a LOT cheaper than a new engine after it breaks at 61k.

04-17-2008, 09:21 AM
I have 2 cars. A 2001 and a 2002. One is paid for, the other has 7 more payments left on it. My wife and I plan on driving both cars into the ground before buying replacements. I know a few people that lease and always want to have a "new" car, but I enjoy the pleasure of not having a car payment. I figure as long as I spend less for repairs than I would for a payment, I am coming out ahead.

04-17-2008, 09:26 AM
Well, simple question, do you want a monthly payment? If so, get a new car. Do you NOT want a monthly payment? Do not get a new car. If the car is in excellent running condition, unless you simply want a new vehicle then there's really no reason to get one. But there comes a time when some vehicles become more trouble than they're worth, and it's time to put her to pasture. I was seriously considering a new vehicle before I bought my 2001 Cherokee. I am very glad that I still have that would-be car note money in my pocket.

04-17-2008, 09:26 AM
I keep my cars until they break to the point that fixing them isn't worth it, or I crash them. Most of them are crashed through my experience.

Note to self, do not drive in Mississippi. :biggrin:

I assume you have a few good stories to tell?

04-17-2008, 09:39 AM
There have been studies on this by groups like Consumer's digest. They show it is less expensive to keep an old car running than to buy a new one. . As to buying new vs buying used...if you buy a new car today, tomorrow it is a used car. Don't believe it? Take it back to the dealer and see what he offers you for it. And that drive home from the dealership costs you a few thousand bucks! They say financially speaking, a three year old car is the best deal. The first owner ate the heaviest depreciation, but the car should still be in near-new condition.

04-17-2008, 10:28 AM
This is a great thread - lots of practical advice.

The comments about three year old cars being some of the best buys is bang on - if you do want a luxury vehicle, this is definitely the way to go. In many cases a three year old car is exactly the same as the current models, so from a vanity perspective most people can't tell the difference.

As for the how the car was driven/maintained vs. milage, both are important.

The care of the vehicle is more important than the milage in most cases, however, if you do a lot of driving, milage should be taken into account.

04-17-2008, 11:08 AM
The best way to buy a car is to get one that is 2-3 years old and then drive it until it dies. There is no point in buying a new car because they lose their value so fast, usually 50% in 3 years. You may think that buying a newer car will save you SOOO much money on gas, but it isnt true. Do some math and figure out the gallons per year you would save and how much money that would be versus paying for a new car.

04-17-2008, 11:27 AM
Its nice to own a car and no longer have to pay for it. I have a paid off 00' Intrepid. Its got about 120,000 miles on it, and still running strong. Either way, its nice not having to pay. Run it till it dies and get your moneys worth.

04-17-2008, 11:03 PM
I have a 02 F-250 powerstroke and its been paid off for 2 years now. The only reason I'm thinking about trading it is because it only get 12mpg and diesel is outrageous. Where i screwed up is, when i bought the truck diesel was cheap and i put a 6in. lift kit on it with some 36in tires. lol. I like my truck but it takes a little over $100 to fill her up.

04-18-2008, 11:30 AM
In my opinion, cutting the cost of driving is mostly about avoiding the payment treadmill. If you can't avoid it altogether, then at least minimize the burden.

My belief is that the optimal age to buy mostly depends on what your driving situation is.

Low mileage driver: Buying a 2-3 year old vehicle is a good bet. You might even find a certified preowned with a decent warranty. You'll get years of good service from it. Even if you finance it, you should be able to drive it well beyond when it is paid off.

Average driver: If you drive 10-15k miles per year, then the price and depreciation rate on the specific vehicle are important. On a model with low depreciation, buying new might cost a few thousand more, but you often get really cheap financing and can drive the car a few years longer. If you're looking at a higher depreciation model, then used is a better bargain.

High mileage driver: Cars get pretty cheap as they cross the 100k mile mark. With good maintenance, you can get another 100k out of some of them. Find a cheap car, pay cash, and drive it into the ground.

Antique Hoosier
04-18-2008, 12:12 PM
My 2003 Saturn Vue is so unsexy but it is paid for and very economical. I really lust for a Vintage Porsche 928 but thats probably NOT going to happen.

04-18-2008, 12:50 PM
My 2003 Saturn Vue is so unsexy but it is paid for and very economical. I really lust for a Vintage Porsche 928 but thats probably NOT going to happen.

Look at 968s, a bit cheaper and almost as much fun. I have one in the garage.

04-18-2008, 01:02 PM
I have a 94 Volvo that is not much of a headturner, but drives great and has no payments.

The more $ I save by driving a car that is paid for = the more $ I can use to pay down debts.

12-17-2012, 04:09 PM
I just went through this. See this thread: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/323636-New-Truck-Need-a-Bedliner?p=4701507#post4701507 I used to trade every 2 years--had a buddy in the car business who "took care of me." When I got my Z4 10 years ago, I also owned a truck, so I was bent on keeping the Z4 forever, but the repairs just got out of control. I traded it on a new Chevy Silverado, and I'm as happy as a clam. As my thread says, I'm looking for a bedliner......any thoughts?

12-17-2012, 05:08 PM
I usually buy an ex-lease vehicle and run it upto about 300,000 km. The highest I have had was a Camry that got traded at 362,000 km. Once you get past about 180,000 km the trade value is not going to drop any further; it is probably only a token amount whether you have 200,000 km or 300,000.

12-19-2012, 09:14 AM
I like my truck but it takes a little over $100 to fill her up
You need to try living on this side of the pond.... I've got a Chrysler 300c touring (I believe you'd know it as a Dodge Magnum) - costs about 110 if I let the little red light go on. That's about $184 a tankfull.....